Saturday, March 19, 2011

Today in Gay History

On March 19, 2010 celebrity Kathy Griffin headlined a rally at Freedom Plaza in DC calling for the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. Openly gay West Point graduate, Lt. Dan Choi, and Capt. James Pietrangelo marched from the rally site to the White House and handcuffed themselves to the fence. They were arrested and spent the night in jail, being denied the right to make a phone call and bail until the next day. "But what I was taught at West Point and learned in war is -- hope is not a strategy. As officers, James and I both find it a dereliction of our moral duty to remain silent while thousands of our brothers and sister are not allowed to serve openly and honestly."
Within a year, the Democratic Congress voted to repeal the 18 year old policy, and before he signed the bill into law, President Obama stated that ending the ban will mean that "thousands of patriotic Americans" won't be forced to leave the military "despite years of exemplary performance, because they happen to be gay…" and that gay people will no longer be be "asked to live a lie in order to serve the country they love."